What is ‘Truth?’ According to radical leftwing students at Pomona College in California, it is nothing more than a concept used by white imperialists to maintain their power. In a recent letter to College President David Oxtoby, the students utterly reject both truth and free speech. What they are really saying, however, is that only their truth matters and only their free speech should be permitted.
The letter was largely a response to Oxtoby admonishing students for their shutting down of an April 7 lecture that was to be delivered by Manhattan Institute Fellow Heather MacDonald. Because MacDonald had written a book, The War on Cops, which was critical of the Black Lives Matter movement; leftwing students rioted to prevent her delivering the talk and stop other students from attending the event.
In an email to students, Oxtoby wrote “Protest has a legitimate and celebrated place on college campuses. What we cannot support is the act of preventing others from engaging with an invited speaker.” He added, “Our mission is founded upon the discovery of truth, the collaborative development of knowledge and the betterment of society.”
The authors of the students’ letter wrote, in response, “The idea that the truth is an entity for which we must search, in matters that endanger our abilities to exist in open spaces, is an attempt to silence oppressed peoples.” So, the search for truth is a means of oppression?
As for freedom of expression, the more than twenty students who put their names on the letter contend “Free speech, a right many freedom movements have fought for, has recently become a tool appropriated by hegemonic institutions,” and that “it has given those who seek to perpetuate systems of domination a platform to project their bigotry.”
So, truth is oppression and free-speech is bigotry. One is reminded of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984. Although fictional, this novel is a must-read for anyone attempting to divine the agenda of the progressive movement. Published in 1949, the novel describes a future Britain, named ‘Oceania’, ruled by a ruthless, totalitarian English Socialist Party (INGSOC). Every individual is under constant surveillance by the state and even language itself is restricted. A favorite INGSOC party slogan is “War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.” The slogan was rooted in the practice of ‘Doublethink’ which was, in actuality, a complete rejection of the concept of ‘truth.’ The basic idea was that citizens were conditioned to believe exactly what they were told by the state, without even an inclination to question, reason or apply critical thinking.
The fictional, but terrifying, construct of ‘Doublethink’ worked thus: When one is conditioned to accept two realities, simultaneously, one is incapable of questioning anything the state says – even if the message changes every day.
To the casual observer of politics, a comparison between the modern progressive agenda and the fictional horrors of 1984 may seem fanciful. There are, however, frightening similarities and the group of leftwing students at Pomona College exhibit the same tendencies as the fictional INGSOC: Reject truth, reject freedom, listen only to what we say and demand.
The student letter goes on to rail against “hate speech” but stops short of defining it; meaning that any public discourse with which they disagree is hate speech and should be silenced.
Most terrifying of all, perhaps, is the prospect that some of these students – and others, across the nation, who think as they do – might one day be working within the federal government, or even leading it.